Alcohol addiction is one of the most common forms of addiction in the world. In the US alone, nearly 27% of people 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. This is a staggering amount of people who endanger their health and their lives in order to self-medicate or feed an addiction that, in its end stages, can kill.
Alcoholism is a common disorder, and like many addictions, a variety of factors can contribute to it. People who have family members that drink more regularly are more likely to abuse it themselves.
Is It Abuse or Addiction?
With so many people abusing alcohol, it may be difficult to know if somebody you love has a problem with drinking. After all, America has a “party culture” that’s promoted in the media. When you go to a restaurant on a Friday night, there’s no doubt a small crowd will form in the bar as the evening goes on. It may seem like everyone is drinking.
When a person drinks regularly, they develop a tolerance to alcohol, which means that it takes more of the same substance to get the same affect. Many people who beceom addicted to alcohol develop this tolerance. Often, an addicted person will discover that they need to drink a certain amount to “feel normal”, and can’t control how much they drink even when they want to.
Addiction also causes withdrawal symptoms that can be uncomfortable or even dangerous in heavy drinkers. Sweats, chills, seizures and/or hallucinations are all likely problems a person addicted to alcohol will encounter when they try to quit drinking.
If alcohol is causing problems in a person’s life, but they can’t seem to quit using it, even for a few days, they probably have a problem with alcohol. Sometimes a person with a substance use disorder with abuse other drugs alongside alcohol.
Effects of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction is different from alcohol abuse, but many people who abuse alcohol become addicted to it. Other people abuse alcohol for a period of time in their lives, or a few times a year, and then abstain from it.
One of the most obvious symptoms of addiction is when a person can’t control what or how much they’re drinking. For example, you might tell yourself you’re going to stick to beer all night to limit your drinking. But when a friend offers you a shot of a drink, you forget about it. Or you may simply be unable to control how much you drink, or have blackouts when you’re drunk.
Many people get into legal trouble when they are addicted to alcohol. DUI’s and public nuisance charges are common among people who have a problem with alcohol. Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and is a factor in many cancers and heart disease.
In the long run, heavy drinking can cause a lot of problems for a person.
People who have abused alcohol regularly go through physical withdrawal when they try to quit. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and even dangerous in some cases. That’s why it is always recommended that people who abuse alcohol go to safe detox program so they can be monitored regularly and made as comfortable as possible.
Recovery from Alcohol Addiction is Possible
If you or somebody you love has a problem with alcohol or any other substance, there is hope available. Every year, thousands of people from every walk of life get clean and join the ranks of recovery.
It doesn’t matter what or how much you drink. If you need help stopping, there are a resources available. Detox is the first step towards reclaiming your life and living a life without alcohol. Learn more about your treatment options by calling us at 1-888-959-3277.